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CROWN PRINCESS RHIANNON TA'AN WANTS VENGEANCE.
The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEE has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne - and her revenge.
ALYOSHA is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.
Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.
The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding - even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee's name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.
In this exhilarating debut for fans of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and Pierce Brown's Red Rising trilogy, RHODA BELLEZA crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.
ARC received for review purposes, Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This book may be a case of ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ kind of book. While I enjoyed the book and I was never bored while listening to it, there just just quite a few things that kept me from really getting into the book. I think my biggest issue might have been the narator. Don’t get me wrong, I loooove Rebecca Soler as a narrator, in fact, she was the main reason why I decided to listen to the audio over reading the book. But I think I’ve gotten so used to associating her voice with the Lunar Chronicle audiobooks/characters, that it was so hard for me to forget that I wasn’t listening to one of those books. Especially since the book is set in space and all that. I normally listen to audiobooks that have been narrated by narrators I’ve already heard many many times in previous books and I’ve never really had that issue. But in this case, other than two other audiobooks, I’ve heard Soler’s voice for Fairest, Cinder, Scarlett, Cress, Winter and Skies above, all narrating the same world and characters. It was hard for me to separate her ‘voice’ from that world.
Another thing that really kept me from really connecting with the book, was that it all felt a little bit too familiar to other books I’ve read. Lots of pieces reminded me of Stars Above and pretty much any other YA book set in space. I know no book is unique, but when there are so many similarities (not that I don’t think they were intentional) it’s hard to distinguish which story is which. In fact, just now when I sat down to write my review, I had to go read the synopsis again just to refresh my memory because I was confusing it with a few other books I’ve read…
The romance, or lack thereof, was another sore point for me. The majority of the book, I was expecting the two different narrators to eventually fall in love, but that’s not the case. There is a budding romance, which I’m sure will be explored more in book two, but it just wasn’t between the two narrators like I expected, especially since the summary makes it seem as if the two main characters will actually be together to try to save the world when in fact they ever even meet. I guess her definition of together is doing the same thing at the same time even though they are apart the whole time. I kept hoping for them to finally meet and I was expecting sparks would fly then, but not only do they never meet but Aly has his own love interest. It was just all very misleading. Overall, although the book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very memorable for me either. It was very predictable and at times a little bit slow and…boring? I enjoyed the narration a lot, even if it did confuse me.
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